Friday, March 23, 2012

Catch Up

I know, I know...I am so behind in blogging! It's hard to even really figure out where to start. But, I had a ton of pictures on my phone of various things so I decided to finally download them to the computer and start there. Sorry if this post is a little random, but the pictures will give some sort of idea as to what we have been up to lately - and by lately, I mean the past few months that I have been inconsistently blogging!

I think I have posted before, but Abbey is in dance class and loving it. She got this new leotard for Christmas from Madgie and Patch and it has quickly become her favorite. She looks so pretty in it! She has her first dance recital in May, so stay tuned for that!

We are ready for summer here! The weather has been fantastic lately, but still not quite pool weather. Juliette, though, is super excited to get swimming again!

I may have mentioned this previously (I can't remember), but Ben wanted to go to Benihana for his birthday. Here is the master chef!

Belle has been doing great! She is house broken now and will actually go sit by the door and bark when she needs to go out. This is a huge improvement over Chien, who would just come up and silently stare at you if he was desperate to go out. As I am sure you can imagine, when one is caring for 3 small children this subtle sign was sometimes overlooked! I always wished he had been a bit more vocal about it, so I am glad that Belle makes it known. But she is doing great. I have never seen a dog do this, but Belle sleeps on her back - it's so funny!

Belle came with us to drop the kids off at school one day, so here she is with Abbey in the car!

Ah, my beautiful dancers! Juliette just started taking dance class and she loves it. Juliette is the one person in this family that can really get down and move her hips - it's hilarious to watch! She almost does deep knee bends and then moves her hips from side to side. That isn't taught in dance class yet, but she will be a pro when they get to that!

A few weeks ago we went down to Caroline's house and all went to see The Lorax in 3D. For those of you who do not know, The Lorax is our favorite Dr. Seuss book and it is an environmental story about the effects of chopping down trees to grow a business. It was Dr. Suess's favorite book and it is ours too. So we were a little worried about the movie, but were pleasantly surprised at how great it was! My only complaint was that I wish they had used more lines from the book. The paraphrased a lot of stuff to get the points across, and there really was no need to do that since Dr. Seuss wrote it so perfectly! But, it was great. Here are the kids with their glasses ready for the 3D movie!

Juju wasn't quite sure how to wear her glasses though...

Ben looks like quite the cool guy in his glasses and track suit!

After the movie it was back to the Acuff's house where Belle got to meet her cousin Cooper! Cooper was Chien's brother (literally), so it was really fun for us to watch the two play together. Cooper was very sweet with Belle and they had a great time together. I was really sad that we did not have our nice camera to catch the action, but here are a few shots taken from my phone.


They were seriously so cute together!

Here is Juju at her first dance class. She enjoys the class a lot, but I think her favorite part right now is wearing the dancing clothes!

She already knows how to work the bar!

And one day I came downstairs to find Juliette "sharing" her snack with Belle!

Last weekend I went to a conference called Hearts At Home with my church mom's group. It is basically a Christian conference of mothers where there are key note speakers and then a variety of talks you can sign up to take (for example, I took a class called Confessions of an Imperfect Mother and another one called Top 10 Messages You Want You Kids to Receive). It was my first time going, but it won't be my last. It was fantastic. The speakers were amazing and I learned so much. It was refreshing and just moving to be there with so many other women who were trying to grow in their own faith and become better mothers/wives/Christians. I would highly recommend it to any mother. I can give you the website and more info if you might be interested in it for next year. It takes place at Illinois State University, which is about 2 hours from us. Just to give you an idea of the conference, there were 6,200 women there from 33 states with the number of children impacted from the women there of 14,000. This year one of the key note speakers was Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar (you may have heard of them...they have 19 kids and counting)! Here is a quick pic I snapped of them while they were signing autographs. The key note speaker for next year is Candace Cameron. I can't emphasize enough what a great experience it was for me and I already can't wait for next year's conference!

Another thing I did recently was go to the Ladies Night Out fundraiser at the kids' school. It was trivia and I sat with a bunch of the other kindergarten parents from Ben's class and also met some of the kindergarten parents of the other two classes. It was a ton of fun and our table came in 3rd (out of about 50 tables). They also had a huge raffle and this is what I is a big basket of arts and craft supplies! It said it was a $65 value and the kids have been having so much fun with it.

We started a family tradition about a year ago where every Friday night (assuming we don't have anything else going on AND assuming the children have been well behaved all week) we have a family movie night. It is the only time in the week that the kids get to watch a movie, so they get pretty excited about it. First, everyone has to have their room clean and the play room picked up. Then we alternate whose turn it is to choose the movie. We start the movie around 5, pause it for dinner, get in our PJ's, pop some popcorn and watch the rest of the movie. It's a great tradition!

I think I mentioned previously that Ben has learned to read. It is such an amazing experience to watch a child learn to read and to really start to pick it up. He reads everything now - he will point out signs to us, read food labels, and it warms me heart to come downstairs to see this...

Whew! Well that is some catching up, but I still have more to do!
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